Breaking Local News
A West Virginia lawmaker wants federal, state and local prosecutors to review an audit of a statewide microwave communications network. A legislative audit released this week says a $38 million expansion of the network ignored state purchasing laws. Delegate Larry Kump wants to know whether a criminal investigation is warranted. The audit said the funding for the network expansion was part of a $126 million stimulus grant to bring the latest broadband and telecommunication gear to the state. The plan includes building 12 towers and refurbishing five others to fill a gap in the microwave communication system for law enforcement and other first responders.
A committee has popped up to fight the meth problem in West Virginia, and the group met Wednesday to talk about how others around the country are tackling the problem. The West Virginia Intervention on Meth Committee also brainstormed possible solutions. There were more than 270 meth busts by police across the state in 2012.
Clay County has its new Sheriff. Former Sheriff Miles "Mike" Slack resigned last week before pleading guilty to a federal wiretapping charge. Clay County Commissioners this week appointed 60-year old Garrett Samples as the new sheriff, who will begin serving October 1. Samples was picked from 16 candidates, and all of those candidates had previous experience with the Clay County Sheriff's Department. Samples says no major changes are planned for the department.
On Tuesday a vehicle was stolen from the Kroger at Crossing’s Mall in Elkview while the 84-year old owner was paying for gas, and surveillence video revealed the suspect to be 21-year old Anthony Konopinski of Ohio. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and it was also discovered he's wanted in Ohio on several charges. The stolen vehilce was put in a national database, and turned up in a suburb of Cleveland Wednesday morning. Konopinksi was arrested there on several charges, and Cpl. BD Humphries tells us he'll be extradicted to West Virginia eventually.
The Kanawha City Community Association has plans for to bring a new look to MacCorkle Avenue. It's a multi-million dollar project that will add trees, plants, street parking and other features that will invite visitors to stay, and give businesses there a boost. The community association will hold a public meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Westminster Church in Kanawha City to talk about the plans.
Kanawha County Sheriff Deputies are investigating reports of a stolen vehicle from the Kroger at Crossing’s Mall in Elkview. And 84-year old man who owns a 2001 Nissan Sentra says he had refueled his vehicle and went to finish his business at the fuel center cashier’s window, and a white male in a red zip-up sweatshirt stole his vehicle. Surveillence video to the suspect, who was identified as 21-year old Anthony Konopinski of Ohio. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and it was also discovered he's wanted in Ohio on several charges. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office at 304-357-0169 or submit a tip at www.kanawhasheriff.us.
Home Confinement Officers with the Kanawha County Sheriff's office conducted a random home visit Monday and found drugs and cash. Cpl. BD Humphreys says Dario Martin of Rand was assigned home confinement while he awaits trial on charges of armed robbery and possession with intent to deliver controlled substances. On the home confinement visit, officers found a wrapped baggie containing what was tentatively identified as heroine and roxycodone, plus cash. Martin was arrested for possession with intent to deliver.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies are looking at a possible gun case involving two third grade students at Shoals Elementary School in the Mink Shoals area. One student says a classmate revealed a gun hidden in a backpack. An investigation is underway and investigators have spoken to both students and their parents, and right now Cpl BD Humphries says no charges are expected. The administrators at Shoals Elementary School and from the Kanawha County Board of Education are also investigating. It is a felony in the State of West Virginia to possess a firearm on school property.
As the effort to convert to compressed natural gas vehicles continues, IGS Energy just opened its first compressed natural gas fueling station for vehicles. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin attended the opening Tuesday in Bridgeport to introduce the station that's part of a $10 million network of CNG fueling stations along Interstate 79 from Charleston to Mount Morris, Pa. The plan also calls for stations in Charleston and Jane Lew, along with the one near the Pennsylvania line. Supporters say natural gas as a cheaper, cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel.
Four banking companies have agreed to pay the state nearly $8 million to settle a lawsuit claiming they used deceptive tactics to sell credit card protection programs to customers. West Virginia's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday that Bank of America Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank/Citigroup Inc. and GE Money Bank agreed to pay $1.95 million each in the settlement. Morrisey said thousands of West Virginians entered into credit card payment protection programs without knowing they had done so, were charged extra fees and then had trouble reaping the benefits.